The cyclic return of Russian painting to domestic dramas, are organically related to the grass-roots culture for the past three hundred years, beginning with the famous watercolors Ivan Ermeneva in the XVIII century and ending with dark cloths Vladimir Titov 1980s - 2000s, has created a discontinuous, but is characterized by continuity chronicles the tradition in which the traumatic experience of the artist, a personal experience are transposed into the domain of fine art, giving the finished works of power and immediacy of field studies.
Works by Slava Zhdanov mark the beginning of a new cycle of thinking about everyday life: the rejection of brutality Leningrad Expressionist painting trash-late 90s - early zero and ignoring the lessons of the "big school" created for a certain space to maneuver, including in the direction of a naive search. Characters Zhdanov not shout about the enormity of what is happening - a weak, barely outlined drawing lines, flawed, blurry patch of color there is no frenzied expression "wild" or the monumental official "school", rather, such works as "In the public bath ..." send us back to brief siege sketches made by exhausted, helpless people who have spent the remnants of the forces on what to see and draw. So one of the works of Vasily Pakulina, written in February 1942 called "The embankment of the Neva. Ships. Frosty Day "- nothing reminds of the terrible winter which lasts more besieged Leningrad. At the forefront, "Bani" Zhdanov posted cleaners figure in a blue robe, her bony silhouette, petrified, is responsible for creating dramatic tension in the idyllic at first glance, the painting "wash" (a lot calmer, "bathing scenes" was written by Russian artists: one can not forget the work Kazimir Malevich's "pedicure in the bath", a genre scene Cubist period, with strong, solid figures): Zhdanov, not looking too closely at the male nudity, carefully assembles a female face sharp features and a strained neck veins a car enduring humiliation. Theme Scene "folds" - rigid social and cultural differences, employees comprehensive source of continuous suffering, goes through all the creativity of the artist: misfits, dancers, picking their way to the Bolshoi Theatre on the black dirt, people, destroyed pointless anger, blood-red stain all the communal kitchen , a family consisting of fixed monsters, which look is always facing the viewer behind the scenes - never to each other - the naive and uncompromising stories, the decision not to one of the most beautiful techniques of "school" and not in the distribution of violent material painting of the "new wild" (Rainer Fettinga and others, had brought the material to Leningrad, the "New artists") - Zhdanov chooses concise, elegiac narrative deliberately inept, weak in texture, pattern, color, dim, but the one who takes the trouble to look into these small work, finds great ambitions instead of painting (and they are everywhere - from the Academy of Fine Arts to the New Academy and the Academy of even the immortal Felix Volosenkova) aloof, but a solid look at the fragments of everyday life. Zhdanov collects everyday together, icky, but one that will see the deep-lying and small features of the tragic - comic, he outlines the trajectory of world view, it highlights the reference points, his exhausted, listless characters - heroes of our time.
Emerging in the fine material stages of the artist's work is inextricably linked to the circumstances of his life: once, shortly after a difficult move to Moscow (2008), Zhdanov made the first impression of everyday life beautiful, renovated in the small genre scenes, "A man with an orange umbrella," opening " Orange series of "paroxysmal now implicitly rich prior experience. Figure of a man, towering above the closed ranks of standard two-storey buildings, placed under a huge umbrella, a hat, rather reminiscent of the roof gazebo with a sharp spire - a bright spot abruptly shifts coloristic balance and brings us to the world of theatrical scenery, unknowingly become involved in the everyday story of the collapse of the human person. All the "Orange Series" strung on the idea of masquerade, cardboard decorations: "New Year", which turns into a winter wasteland stage cabaret - orange confetti replaces the snow, street lamp into a spotlight, "Oranges" - a festive orange in color, even gold, fire mountain suddenly find freedom in a road accident, a truck passes for board and lodge at ease on the snow (it is surprising how clearly, though accidental nature paintings - dark, snow-covered road with bare trees, the car body and orange theme - send us back to the siege theme - after all namely mandarins and oranges were delivered in December 1941 for the New Year for children in besieged Leningrad by the road of life caravans of trucks). Storylines unites the Christian idea of salvation through suffering, and even though the likelihood of salvation is as illusory, however misplaced fancy decorations on the streets of Moscow, the artist prefers to despair and despondency, or a feast during the plague strict adherence to find a vocation and he, unlike, for example, from the already Vladimir Titov mentioned, as if joining the Sabbat forces of evil, glorifies it. Differences between aestheticization horror in the works of artists such as Nikolai Kopeikin and Viktor Tikhomirov, and contemplative art practices Vyacheslav Zhdanov as great as between the "rods" Yu Mamleeva and "School of Fools" by Sasha Sokolov - the latter refuses to cruelty and violence of metaphysical enlightenment and on demand a different, humanist conception of human nature.
After the "Orange Series" Zhdanov, like leaves from the surface of their lives in depth, draw-found ability to synchrony, compacting the nuances of time elapsed - a life in Ulyanovsk. In the works of "Provincial weekdays," "Flower Seller" and later in the diptych "The morning toilet Milan /Morning toilet Basil Yegorych" hard to find the signs of salvation, which marked all the days of the Christian, but "orange" theme hidden, folded into a random color, suddenly bright, sunny wall. Zhdanov has the job stalker or an archaeologist: a model city - from facade to the inner excision deficiency culture warped by heavy 90-, appears to us the tragedy of unprotected intellectual marginal preserving the relationship with a human in a period of decline.
After working on the provincial capital and material, reconstructions and comparisons to the artist again appears a large-scale metaphysical series - "Seven Deadly Sins", as if summarizing the study of everyday life "little man" - mise en scene mise en scene for - Zhdanov patiently dissects the terrible ordinariness and projected onto a canvas aloof, cool, largely bleached look, coupled with historical and reflective power of the Christian paradigm. Dead massive figure in the "Gluttony", probably refers to the experience and sculptural nekrorealistov "sins" Mikhail Shemyakin, tough creases on the huge skull of "Greed", possibly overlapping with the monsters Nicholas Tselkova, it would be difficult to distinguish from the general atmosphere of doom that fills the Russian Painting the end of zero, if on each canvas, either implicitly or explicitly not present a figure of the artist, opens inquiry into "what will happen to me?". So in the works "Greed," "Anger. Bad marriage, "" Lust. Betrayal of a winter's day "- not an event in the heart of sin, and his victim - a man with glasses, the frame which, as they say, is too thin for the province, an obvious sign of weakness. The hero is not appropriate in these circumstances on the canvas, but it is there, it there and the viewer is required to solve a painful problem: "What will happen?". The situation is hiding inside a school math lesson: ambulance rides from point "A" to point "B" on her journey takes six hours, but the patient who waits for her, is unlikely to hold out for more than three. Who is here once and what to do? - That's what you want to define a diligent student after a simple calculation. Uncertainty inherent in the vision of the artist, aggravates the situation of choice, points to the fact that he has not passed and, therefore, be. Such a view, on the one hand, eliminates the position of doom, which skillfully take a glamorous Parisian studios in Moscow and not too much sorrow for the fate of a dying rural Russia, rotted small towns, on the other hand, however, shudder, opening the field of the unknown, future space test .
Recent work by Vyacheslav Zhdanov "Football" and "Basketball", introducing an open confrontation between the motives, the most technically solved schematically and with restraint - it's statements, which are themselves already, like "voice crying in the wilderness." Playing fields overturned down, pushed the audience, he seemed to be watching the massacre of the bushes, the metaphysical 'tree of evil, "branching from the center, only emphasizes the ordinariness of clothing attackers, their typical poses - reproduction of violence, not so obvious today, requiring a constant reminder. It is intelligent, slurred painting style Zhdanov does in this case his testimony is particularly valuable: the atrophy of the picturesque material as such viewers should see his own sickness, the disintegration of society, culture, and maybe take something in your life.
Author: Jacob Gimelshteyn.